Plastics everywhere was bad enough, but now multiple studies have found that 94 percent of our drinking water and 93 percent of sampled bottled water worldwide are full of plastic particles and chemicals, including BPA, heavy metals, phthalates, pesticides, PCBs and other chemicals, many of which are linked in animal studies as well as some human studies to cancer, premature puberty, reduced immunity, birth defects, endocrine disruption, insulin resistance, and other major diseases. And we have no idea and neither does the FDA, EPA, or any other federal agency, whether this lethal cocktail, which binds together with other toxins, is having an even more profound impact on our health and that of our kids. What we get now from those agencies is “conflicting findings” and “uncertainties” about the potential impact of plastics-related chemicals. What we do know is that governments only test or analyze the impacts of individual chemicals to determine the levels of potentially life-threatening exposure, making it impossible to figure out the combined total load of chemicals from plastics our babies can safely absorb.
An enormous area of rubbish floating in the Pacific Ocean is teeming with far more debris than previously thought, heightening alarm that the world’s oceans are being increasingly choked by trillions of pieces of plastic.
The sprawling patch of detritus – spanning 1.6m sq km, (617,763 sq miles) more than twice the size of France – contains at least 79,000 tons of plastic, new research published in Scientific Reports has found. This mass of waste is up to 16 times larger than previous estimates and provides a sobering challenge to a team that will start an ambitious attempt to clean up the vast swath of the Pacific this summer.
Plastic waste is everywhere, but several countries, from Malawi to Morocco, have made plans to phase out plastic shopping bags and other disposable items. Now, following in their footsteps, Great Britain is planning to enact new measures aimed at weaning customers off disposable plastic products that are chucked out after a single use, thereby greatly adding to the already massive amounts of plastic waste.
Among other measures, the European nation will impose a 5 pence (RM0.3) surcharge on single-use plastic bags and lean on retailers to set up plastic-free aisles. The aim, according to Prime Minister Theresa May, is to eradicate all plastic waste within the next 25 years.
So far so good. But here is a problem: that quarter-century timeline is unfeasible. There is way too much plastic waste in the world as it is, and such long-term plans will do little to alleviate the situation in the near future.